New to Diamond Buying?
Just starting to learn about diamonds? Check out our Diamond Buying Guide and learn about:
- The traditional 4Cs (carat, cut, color, and clarity), and another 8Cs…yes, 12Cs that matter for any engagement ring
- Engagement rings, ring settings and designs, wedding rings, anniversary gifts, rings celebrities wear
- Differences in buying diamonds online, at brick-and-mortar retailers, and from wholesalers, and more.
Diamond Cut (Shape)
Diamonds come in a variety of shapes: round (also called brilliant), princess (square), asscher, marquise, radiant, emerald, oval, heart, pear, cushion, etc. Shape influences the diamond’s price, sometimes substantially.
The choice of a diamond shape is a matter of personal preference, style, and budget.
Learn more about diamond shapes in our Diamond Buying Guide.
Carat is a measure of diamond weight (5 carats = 1 gram = 0.0353 oz). The larger the carat weight, the higher the price of a diamond. Note that carat weight does not mean size. A 2-carat diamond does not appear to be twice the size of a 1-carat diamond if viewed from the top.
Learn more about carat weight in our Diamond Buying Guide
Diamond Cut (Grade)
The diamond cut is a grade for the stone cutter’s craftsmanship quality. It largely determines the diamond’s brilliance and sparkle. The cut grade is determined based on the symmetry of the diamond’s facets, quality of the polish, weight to carat ratio, and other aspects. Cut is measured on a five-point scale: from Ideal to Poor.
Look for information about the cut in the diamond’s certificate.
Learn more about cut in our Diamond Buying Guide.
Diamonds come in various colors: colorless and "fancy" colors, such as red, blue, green, and even black. Colorless diamonds, though, also vary in color from completely colorless to slightly yellow. The more yellow the diamond appears to be, the less expensive it is. Color is graded on a scale from D (100% colorless, most expensive) to Z (yellow, least expensive).
Learn more about color in our Diamond Buying Guide.
Diamonds feature all sorts of imperfections–internal inclusions, such as tiny bubbles and cracks, and external blemishes, such as scratches and polish lines. Imperfections, if substantial, may negatively impact a diamond’s brilliance and fire. The more "perfect" the diamond is, the more expensive it is. Clarity is graded on a scale from FL (flawless) to I3 (3rd degree of "inclusions").
Learn more about diamond clarity in our Diamond Buying Guide.